A new report claims to shed light on a number of design changes to the second-generation iPad, which is expected to be announced by Apple in early 2011. In addition to slimming changes that will see the iPad shrink from its current 242.8mm height by 189.7mm width by 13.4mm depth down to approximately 239mm tall by 186mm wide by 10.4mm deep—roughly 3mm smaller in every dimension—the new iPad will feature an improved speaker, twin cameras, and no SD card slot, according to Macotakara. Explaining an unusually large lower rear hole seen in earlier leaks of new iPad cases, the redesigned model will feature larger speaker grilles to accommodate better-sounding audio, rather than the SD card that some speculated would be nestled behind grilles similar in size to the first-generation iPad’s; the image here is a rendering by Taiyo Fujii, not a photo. The display on this model will remain at 9.7” as on the original iPad’s, says the report.
The report also states that the new iPad’s rear shell will be flatter and similar to that of the fourth-generation iPod touch, that the ambient light sensor has been moved and reshaped, and that the two cameras—one in front, one in back—will be similar in quality to those found on the iPhone 4, including video recording capabilities. A 3G model is said to have the same antenna locations as the original iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G. Finally, the report states that production has begun on the new iPads, with a current shipping date of mid to late January, though whether that date represents an actual availability timeframe or merely Apple taking possession of the devices from its contract manufacturers remains unclear.